It’s now been close to a month since I moved on to Asia but for the time being it’s still all about Europe. After my incredibly thrilling run with the bulls we finished in the bull ring where a bunch of us dodged some of the bulls for the next hour. I mostly kept to the side though I never exited the ring. I didn’t want to stupidly injure myself but it was such a blast watching others try.
The actual events involving the bulls did truly end as we finally exited the ring and at that point I was brought back to a sobering reality. I am alone but surrounded by thousands of happy Spaniards and foreigners enjoying the company of their friends. It’s easy enough to meet people when you put in the effort but after putting in so much effort to meet people every day it takes a toll. That day I envied everyone around me while I watched people drinking and socializing.
This must be what they call homesick. What I missed was having familiar faces. I didn’t want to approach random strangers while they wondered what’s wrong with a person who goes to a festival alone. I watched and tried to soak in the culture. I couldn’t go lie down in my hotel room since the plan for the night was no plan at all. I was going to sleep in the park.
I continued wandering, every so often dragging out my laptop around in my leather laptop bag
to do some work in any random alley where I could find an open wireless network. I am constantly surrounded by an atmosphere of people 100% on vacation while I still work 3-10 hours day, seven days a week. When I am feeling upbeat there is no better feeling to be around people on vacation but during a time like this it only made me feel worse.
As the evening approached I grabbed a beer and sat down in the main plaza to watch the world cup semifinals that actually involved Spain.
I left about midway through to catch up on more work. By the time I finished late at night the stored luggage had closed leaving me responsible for all of my belongings. I walked into the park past a blaring metal concert to find what I thought might be a quiet spot to sleep. I placed my bags down with all of the zippers facing the ground and wrapped my arms or legs in the straps to minimize the chance of any theft
My eyes had closed and my mind was almost asleep when my instincts or more likely the shadow of some figures appeared. I was startled. I opened my eyes to see four gypsy women grabbing me and yelling. They were big middle aged women. I spread my arms and legs like an upside down snow angel as i held onto my belongings. My instincts worked well but my mind continued processing the situation and as a result I did not utter a word. The four gypsies quickly soon gave up and moved on. Moments later a straggler re-approached for a second shot at it but again quit empty handed.
I watched the group of misfit women walk only 20 feet away to the next group of sleeping travelers. A part of me wanted to help but the other part knew better. The moment I abandoned my belonging is the moment one of the women would snatch them. All I could do was watch as the group awoke and screamed obscenities until the gypsies again moved on. I rearranged my belonging and made sure to sleep on my smaller backpack since that I could not afford losing. I eventually slept.
I awoke in the morning to catch the first bus to Barcelona. While waiting in the terminal I opened my laptop and the screen was broken. I felt like a person close to me had just died. How could I work without my laptop. What about all the movies I watch on it in my downtime? Or all the documents and photos? I found an internet cafe and logged in to find 40 new or unanswered business emails. I really could not afford to miss a few days of work because in those few days that number could reach 80. I sent a copy and paste email to all of current clients to inform them of a possible delay.
As I drank some coffee in the corner of the station I noticed a young traveler who could not be more than 19 sobbing next to me. I took a second glance when I saw he was wearing a kilt and a dirty white t-shirt. Must have been a pretty bad night I figured. He saw me stare and told me he had been robbed of everything, left only in his current clothing. I gave him some basic advice of what to do in his situation and a few Euros.
As I write this post I have since recovered from my travel blues or homesickness, whatever we want to call what I wrote about earlier in this post. I am currently in a short term apartment located in a Muay Thai gym that’s strategically placed in a Chinese grave yard in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s not because it’s a better country or because I like the travelers any better. I needed a break from constant travel where my most difficult consequences was putting in the effort to meet new people constantly only to say goodbye the next day. That can become too tiring and lonely. Instead I enrolled in a Muay Thai boxing course to setup a routine and have since made quite a few local and foreign friends to spend time with. So as I am writing this I am out of my funk and once again enjoying my locationless lifestyle.